Browse content similar to Episode 7. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Caring for dangerous animals requires lots of different skills.
One of the most useful of those is knowing how to use this, a blowpipe.
But, when looking after animals like these, it requires
nerves of steel. And we'll find out who has them and who doesn't, today.
Coming up on today's Animal Park...
..a keeper used to looking after giraffe and zebra
has to blowdart a whole pride of lions.
Not easy when you smell of their prey.
We look back at the time
300 kilos of sealion took a ride on the tour boats.
And the baby otters are just about the cutest things at the park,
but Ben becomes just about the most unpopular
when he has to give them their first jabs.
..Hold it there like that?
But first, it's over to the rhino house.
It's been 17 years since Longleat's had a baby rhino
and deputy head warden Ian Turner is still broody.
He did think that the patter of tiny feet wouldn't be too far away
when Njani and Rosina started to get to know each other.
They're showing encouraging signs.
They're playing about and he's getting interested.
However, after a passionate start, things quickly cooled off
and they haven't had a date since.
And as for Winston, the old fella hasn't been up to anything much
except taking it easy.
So another year's passed and Ian's fed up of leaving them to their own devices,
so he's thought up a way of helping things get hot and steamy.
I'm up at the rhino yard with Ian Turner, who's come up with an ingenious plan
-for your rhinos, Ian, which involves this hosepipe.
So what is the plan?
-The plan is to fix this up as a shower.
When it's raining, they tend to get quite frisky
-and do a lot of jumping about.
-That's when the patrol man's got to be on his toes cos they'll just take off.
They get to be like spring lambs and just go for it.
So we're going to try this as an experiment
to see if they'll use the shower unit and if they do, then we'll fix it up
-as a permanent feature for in the really hot weather.
-So this is a bit of an experiment.
-To see if they like it, yeah.
Well, they're coming up now. Do you want to rig it up
or do you want to squirt them to see if they like it?
Just try squirting to see how they go.
-They may jump to start with and then we can fix it on.
-There we go.
But they like it when it rains, as well.
They go outside in the rain. What tends to happen is they'll get
-really wet in the rain, then they'll go and find a nice mud wallow.
Go and get really really muddy,
and they'll have a run about.
They're being a little bit...
a little bit dubious about it.
There we go. That's a nicer spray. Come on, girl...and boy.
He's not averse to the idea, is he?
It's exactly like kids when you put a sprinkler up in the garden,
running in and out of the sprinkler.
-"Oh, that's cold."
-Then they realise it's quite good fun.
Shall we try rigging it to the top of the post?
Yeah. Then we can back off a bit and see if they use it themselves.
OK. So shall I climb up there.
-As I'm a gentleman, I'll let you do all the work.
OK. So, that's pretty well fixed, I think.
Do we want it at that sort of angle?
-See what happens when you switch it on.
There we are. Right. Let's try and back off.
He's looking towards it.
He's definitely looking towards it.
Now, this is interesting. Is this a bit of courtship?
There's something else... Just stimulated by having the spray going.
-And he's getting romantic again.
That's what they needed, you see, Ian. Ensuite shower.
Won't smell so much now!
-Do you think he's gone over and said "Go on, love, hop in the shower?"
"Have a wash, first."
He's definitely interested in it.
Probably can't quite work out
why it's raining in one bit of the yard and not in the other.
Ian, this is clearly the answer.
A bit of food and a shower at the same time. Njani is definitely
being a little bit more wimpy than Rosina, isn't he?
Yeah. That's right.
You can see how it's making the skin supple already.
She looks very content now. So, is that it?
Is the rhino shower going to become a permanent feature, do you think?
I think we'll monitor it a bit more and see how it goes.
But she looks very very happy, doesn't she?
-And you're just a wimp, aren't you?
A complete wimp but then, you know, he's the male.
-What would you expect? Ian, thank you very much, indeed.
So, for now, the shower's rained on Ian's parade,
with no rampant rhinos. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed
and wait and hope that one day soon, Ian's dream comes true.
There have been sealions in Half Mile Lake for over 30 years
and head of lake animals, Mark Tye, has tried to make it home from home.
As they originally come from coastal waters,
he's created a beach for them to bask on and give birth.
However, over the years,
the sealions have preferred to have their babies anywhere else but here.
There was the time they gave birth on the steps of Gorilla Island,
which meant the keepers couldn't get in to feed Niko and Samba.
Then there was the time they gave birth on the jetty
and they didn't take kindly to us filming them.
But the most notorious battle between the keepers and the sealions
happened ten years ago, when Ozzie gave birth to Peewee.
Nothing too strange or problematic about that
except Ozzie had gone into labour on Lady Bea, one of the old tour boats.
Not the ideal place to give birth, but everything went well
until one of the keepers noticed Ozzie was still attached
to her pup by the placenta.
This left head warden Keith Harris with a bit of a problem.
We're gonna attempt to try and cut it
but obviously, she's not very happy with us being near her
so we're going to try and do it afar with a pair of pruning shears,
which isn't ideal
and isn't something we'd normally use
but the pup's having to keep dragging the placenta around,
which is no good for her.
If we can get between the tail...
somewhere around there, further back.
I'm not going to hurt you.
-Is that cutting it?
-Take it away.
No, it's not. It's just not sharp enough.
It is not working.
One of the problems is if the mother drags the baby round, which they
will do, a bit like a dog, they'll pick the pups up and move them...
If that keeps pulling, it could injure the naval area
and then you get infection and, sadly, you might lose a pup.
Having drawn a blank with the pruning shears, plan B was put into action.
Mark Tye headed up to see Tim Noble, the welder,
with the bright idea of attaching a blade to the end of a metal pole.
With some careful handy work, Mark managed to cut cleanly through.
Both mother and calf were fine.
But keeper Ian Small could see a problem.
She'll let the pup suckle.
Obviously, when the pup suckling, has enough milk, she'll go in
and have a freshen-up, as you can say. Then again, she might stay
on that boat for four to five days and then we can't use the boat.
With a Bank Holiday looming, the keepers needed to get
Ozzie and the pup off the boat as soon as they could.
But did Ozzie move out, or did she continue her sit-in on the Lady Bea?
The otters are one of the most popular animals in Pets' Corner
and since the recent baby boom, 2 have become 3, 6, 11...
and Rosie gave birth to their most recent litter just a few weeks ago.
And they're all doing really well.
However, the day has arrived to microchip the five babies.
Now, Duncan, you're the vet here.
What's the process? What are we going to be doing?
We're going to put a little microchip between the shoulders
of each of the baby otters.
Unfortunately, the chips are quite big for the size
of the otters but we'll see how we get on.
-So it shouldn't be too traumatic?
This procedure is like when you or I went for our infant vaccinations.
Slightly unpleasant but essential.
The microchip is a piece of technology
about the size of a large grain of rice.
This holds a reference number
that will link to every piece of important information
about the otters, such as age, sex and their medical records.
Essential if an otter is moved
to another park. And let's face it, they do all look rather similar.
Now, down here, we've got Rob with one of the otters and obviously,
this is something that has to be done for many different reasons.
We health-check them throughout
but we don't want to handle them too often.
We microchip for ID purposes, health check, opportunity to sex.
You're still not sure what we've got.
Not 100%, no, so it's best to do it again and just double check.
OK. So if you just hold...
I'm just going to put this in between the shoulders, here.
It shouldn't hurt too much. You tell me how to hold.
Best if you hold that way round.
Hold it like that, do you think?
Just watch your thumb there cos that's where we're going to go.
OK. It's not going to hurt too much. Good little otter.
-So there's a little chip in there.
-Yeah. We'll just check that it's in OK.
-And it won't...
-There we go. So that's her little number.
That's fantastically easy, isn't it?
-Are you going to have a look to see what sex this one might be?
So what are you looking for here?
I kind of know what you're looking for but...
Just looking for the distance really between the two holes.
They're quite close together so that's a female.
Shall we pop that one back and you go and get the next one? Well done.
My dog has a microchip.
It's becoming more and more common, isn't it, in all sorts of animals?
Probably more important for dogs because they're more likely
to get lost and then you can identify and find the owners again.
Hopefully, these guys won't get lost
-but it is an important identification...
-There you go.
Is it likely to migrate or move around?
Do you want to have a look, check the sex?
It will migrate. Yeah.
I think if we ever need to check them and identify them later again,
we'd have to scan the whole body.
As adults you'd have to probably knock them out to check them.
-Is this the best age to do it at?
This is by far the best age, because we just put these under the skin...
-You can actually feel it under the skin.
So it's just like a grain of rice.
-Is that how you'd describe it?
-Not a very manly scream, is it? OK. We'll send you back.
Oh, there you go. This is a real squirmy little one.
It got you a little bit there.
Yeah. Don't worry.
Turn him around that way.
Might make it a little bit easier for you.
Is that OK, that way?
-Are you OK?
There's always one that's a little bit feistier than the others.
Maybe you should do this one, Rob.
You're probably going to be...
There we go. So they're healthy little things even at this age.
I think he was always the big one, there.
-I'd imagine this is a boy, I'd have thought.
You think this is a boy.
We'll find out from Duncan.
Bit of rubber in his mouth. Bit of glove he's got there.
Is there a little bit of your glove there? He is a boy.
Oh, he's got me as well.
Well, there you go.
It just goes to show that that will be the last time
they're handled and that's probably the reason!
-They look very sweet but they can be surprisingly aggressive.
-Thank you very much. Thanks for letting me help out.
-Good luck, Rob.
We'll keep you posted on their progress throughout the series. I'll go and clean my wound!
There are over 900 animals at Longleat,
some of which are cute and cuddly...
and those that are downright dangerous.
All these animals are kept in secure enclosures
and the keepers are highly trained in safety procedures.
However, they still have to be prepared for the worst...
the escape of a dangerous wild animal.
Head keeper, Keith Harris, knows exactly what to do if the worst
did happen. He has a selection of weapons to deal with an emergency.
Most of these are last-resort weapons.
Particularly the rifle and the shotgun.
Literally, if there's an animal escape,
animal attack, then obviously we would have to consider using those.
The most basic weapon in the arsenal
and thankfully the most commonly used, is the blowpipe.
This piece of equipment is used to administer vaccinations and vitamins
and would be the keeper's first choice to knock out an animal
if they needed medical attention.
Keith has worked at the park
for 30 years and is a true expert with this weapon.
He even darted wild dogs on a recent trip to Africa.
We have what we call a firearms team of five people, at the moment.
We do want to expand that by one, which is why we're looking for Andy
to get involved.
There must be at least one keeper
licensed to use the blowpipe and the other weapons on duty at all times.
So Keith's decided it's time
Andy Heyton, head of the East Africa reserve, was trained up.
A huge amount of responsibility goes along with something like this.
It's not something that I've really taken on board lightly.
I've seen all of this stuff being used before and seen things go wrong.
The blowpipe is the first step to a full firearms licence,
so this will be the first bit of kit he'll get his hands on.
We mainly use it now for administering drugs,
particularly penicillins, drugs like that, that they can't either take
in feed, or if you can't get hold of the animal, to inject it.
That's when we use the darting equipment.
But before Andy can handle the weapon, he has to get to know exactly where to aim it.
This may sound weird but you've got to round now and look at animals as a target.
-Not for bullets but for darting equipment. OK.
Most animals, what you try to do
is look for the back leg cos that's got the muscle mass.
But that's not always the easiest thing.
So with a giraffe, you've got a lot of muscle at the base of the neck,
so that's another place you can dart them.
And also the front shoulder.
So what you've got to start doing is,
all the animals that you go round looking at,
start looking for darting positions.
If you look at a llama, a llama's full of wool...
so where's its muscle?
So the next time you actually handle one,
just run your hand down the fur,
or the hair, and see where that muscle definition is.
So if you had to dart one, you'll know where.
An ostrich, there's a couple of different places
you can dart those. And they're all different
And you'll learn over time and with experience, the best place.
With his target in his sights, Andy now needs to get familiar
with his equipment. Keith starts by teaching him about his ammunition,
which for the blowpipe, is a pressurised dart.
The drug is through a syringe, put into the hole there.
Some of the drugs you could be using are dangerous to yourself so...
be very careful. These darts work on air pressure.
The dart has a needle with a hole
in the side of it, which is covered by a small plastic sleeve.
When the dart hits an animal's skin,
this sleeve is pushed back, uncovering the hole in the needle
and dispensing the drug into the animal's bloodstream.
To make sure the drug comes out of the syringe, the dart is pressurised
so that when the hole in the needle is uncovered,
this releases the air behind the plunger,
forcing the drug out of the needle.
You don't always realise
whether it's pressurised or not and you can make a mistake.
There's a knack to them, is to push it in and take it off sideways.
-Just snap it off.
-Snap it off.
I always just touch the end, cos if there's no pressure in there
that plunger would fall. So that dart, on impact,
hits the animal, plunger goes to the end...
-That's in theory.
99% of the time it will work very well...
but not always, and then you've got to start looking for reasons why it hasn't worked. OK.
Once you've pressurised that dart, you put the flight on.
Push on quite tight and that's ready. Do you want to have a go?
-Go on then.
'Some of the drugs that we use are extremely dangerous.'
It's a steep learning curve that you have to go on and the responsibility is huge.
Now he's confident with his ammo, Andy's ready to lock and load,
but before he's let loose on real live animals,
he needs to perfect his technique.
-Here's the target.
As we were looking at the animals earlier on,
you want that back leg area.
-So here's the blowpipe.
There's the dart. Push it right in as far as...
-Just tuck that in there.
OK. Now come back a bit.
That was very good. That was in the centre.
-When you're comfortable with that, just start going back a bit.
And you'll find your own range.
Start going back a bit.
Why's that? Cos I've been doing too well, so far?
This may look like a game but accuracy is key.
Andy seems to be a natural at this but it's fairly easy when your target isn't moving.
Little does Andy know that Keith's got a real test for him,
with a bit more bite.
Got a big darting job on Wednesday... one of the vet's here.
-So, I think, if you're confident, we'll let you loose
-on a real animal. OK?
Normally confident about things, but
yeah, I'd like to have a go, so we'll see, see how we go. Lovely.
Andy is going to need all the practice he can get before his
true test of accuracy and nerve.
We'll be back later in the programme to see how he gets on.
Iguanas are one of the most placid creatures in Pets' Corner.
That is, until they feel threatened and then they can turn nasty.
So, when a vital trip to the vet's is necessary,
the keepers have struggled to get them into a carry box
without getting a nasty nip or distressing the animal.
However, head of Pets' Corner Darren Beasley is using a cutting
edge technique to calm things down, and Kate has gone to find out more.
They do need medical attention every now and then,
-so what do you do about that?
-Well, what we thought we'd do is we would
use some basic training, really.
I think our target here would be for this one is to try, somehow,
lure him into a travel box under his own steam.
-So you don't have to pick him up at all.
He'll just go in, as you say, because you've encouraged him
to go in and he picks up a pattern of behaviour and he goes oh, yeah,
-I know I'm always rewarded for that.
-You've hit the nail on the head.
It's me producing the carry box in this room, him going, "Hey, I know
"what to do here", trot trot trot, in he jumps and then you put
the lid on and away we go. I have some deadly tools here to help.
I have a round-ended, soft, plastic chopstick.
-I have a bowl of fruit.
And this is part and parcel, only part of their diet.
They're very high fibre eaters, so the sad thing is
I can't spear a dandelion, which would be really, really handy!
And I think the first stage of the training is I'm going to try and lure
him with fruit and try and get him to follow a trail, so when we come in,
he's going to look for the titbit, and follow the trail of the stick.
And the idea would be, I then lure him onto a target and if you can
-imagine I've just cut a small bit of green carpet here.
And I would lay this in this area here, in the iguana room,
and the idea is that he will see
this and eventually he will go to this as his target. He will head...
I will have the stick with the bit of fruit on and he'll head
and he'll sit on there and that's it.
And if you build it up in stages and you move the goalpost, the theory
would be, I shall unravel my bit of carpet, he should come and trot and
-sit on this, just by visualising it.
-By just seeing it.
That's right. And then I can then move the stage,
what I hope to do, and it might be a dream, but I'd hope to move this into
a carry box and then eventually he will just walk straight into the box.
So, you know, it seems very easy.
It's going to take a little bit of time, but if it works,
works with other animals, why not?
I tell you what, we'll set you a challenge.
We'll come back in a few weeks' time and see how Iggypop
is getting on with the magic of a bit of mango and a green carpet.
I have to say I'm sceptical.
But knowing how well you've trained things in the past, maybe,
just maybe, it'll work. It would be great if it did, Darren.
Thank you very much and good luck. Good luck, Iggy, if you wake up.
We're looking back to the amazing tale, when Ozzie the
sealion was nurturing her newborn onboard one of the tour boats.
Ozzie and her pup were still in residence on the boat and
were showing no signs of budging.
But keeper Ian Small had a plan to lure Ozzie back into the water.
We've got to draw the mother off the boat,
grab the pup and put it on the quay.
We need the boat, because Bank Holiday's coming up.
We've got to clean it out.
We've had a bit of a problem with Ozzie this morning.
She's been jumping on the stern of the boat and we can't have that with
the public on, so safety as well.
I just hope we can get her off.
Go on, girl.
Go on. Throw one in.
Throw one to her. That's it.
That's a girl. Go on, my Ozzie.
Over there with it.
And take her right up.
Go on. Take her right the way up. Go on, Oz. Keep going with her.
Further and further the better. Right. Here we go.
'With Ozzie out of the way,
'Ian saw his window of opportunity to grab the pup.
'But all the commotion attracted the pup's dad, Sam, and 300 kilos of
'sealion wading into the equation, was the last thing Ian needed.'
Ozzie. Oz! Oz.
Come on. Ozzie!
Oz! There we are.
'Ian successfully reunited mother
'and calf away from the boat, but Sam was still on a mission.
'Even though Sam was Peewee's dad and he didn't mean any harm to
'the pup, he could have been a danger to his baby, as his
'male hormones were running wild and he had just one thing on his mind...
'to get Ozzie pregnant.
'Female sealions are fertile for about a month after giving birth
'which means they're only NOT pregnant for just four weeks a year.
'With boisterous Sam continuing to hassle Ozzie, she'd started to
'panic, thinking that sizeable Sam may hurt little Peewee.
'The vets were keeping a close eye on proceedings, to ensure both mum
'and pup were in no danger.
'However, Ozzie's behaviour had become increasingly out of control
'and there was only one place she wanted to head for...the boat.
'Sealion pups are built to withstand a battering from the ocean, so this
-'is not as rough a ride as it seems.'
-Take it out of gear.
'The boat was packed with a load of French schoolchildren,
'but that didn't stop her launching herself and her pup back on deck.
'Ian's worst nightmare was unfolding.'
Off the boat. Off the boat.
'With Ozzie and the pup back on the boat and the feeling of deja vue,
'it was up to the keepers to hatch yet another plan.'
These are the wallabies.
More specifically, the common Bennett wallaby,
that most of us would recognise.
In New Zealand, they're classified as a pest
because there are so many of them.
However, on the other side of the park in Pets' Corner, there's
another species of wallaby that you may not be familiar with.
And at one time, it was thought to be extinct.
They're the parma wallaby. The smallest and cutest in
existence, so Ben has popped along to get a closer look.
This is Alice, one of the three parma wallabies that
lives down here at Pets' Corner.
And I'm with Bev, one of their keepers.
Bev, you've actually helped rear some of the wallabies here,
-I have. Yes.
I handreared Kimberley a few years ago, and she lives up in the giraffe
area with the red-necked wallabies. She's doing well.
So I happen to know you have a bit of a soft spot for
all the wallabies here.
I have. Yeah. They're one of my favourite animals here.
Now, I can't get over how tame, if that's the right word, Alice seems
to be, that she's not worried, she's eating out of your hand.
-We've got crowds behind us.
-Yes. What we've been trying to do,
cos when they first came here they were very shy creatures.
They are in the wild, they keep their distance.
And what I've sort of been doing over the last year when they've been here
is to get them used to the public,
so the public can get a little bit closer to them.
Also, for health checks as well - just to make sure they're all OK.
So it's quite important for them really, as well.
And I notice... a rabbit?
Yeah. This is Penny the rabbit. She thinks she's a wallaby.
And she lives in here cos she keeps the wallabies company at the moment.
-And would they ever kind of integrate in the wild?
In Australia you would get wild rabbits there, so it is sort of
a natural thing where they would actually see a rabbit in the wild.
-Is this Alice again coming over?
-This is Alice.
She's the greedy one, I think.
And this is all so that
all the visitors here get a closer look at the parma wallabies, is it?
It is. Sometimes, what we do, we can get some of the public in, now and
then, to let them get close and feed them as well, which is good,
really, cos the public want to do that,
something a little bit different.
Excellent. Bev, thank you very much for letting us get so close.
Don't you go away, cos here's what's still to come on today's programme.
It's darts at dawn as Kate and I find out just how hard
this blowdarting thing really is.
And two keepers from the park push themselves to their absolute limit
to help save the African animals they care for every day.
At this point, it starts to get a bit serious.
we're heading over to the lion house.
Head of the East Africa reserve, Andy Heyton, is being trained up
by head keeper, Keith Harris, to use the blowpipe
as part of his firearms licence.
After a few days' practice,
he's now being put to the test with the big cats. He's going to help
Bob and Brian give Charlie's pride their yearly cat flu vaccinations.
It's a big test. These lions are a lot more feisty
than the giraffe, llamas and zebras that Andy is used to handling.
And he's looking pretty nervous.
It's easy to hit a wooden cutout of a lion, but actually doing the real
thing is different.
I think it's actually worse doing it in front of my fellow keepers,
cos if I mess it up I'm never going to hear the last of it.
Doesn't always go right. It can happen to the best of us.
I mean, it happens to me, so we won't be laughing...
maybe behind his back.
Andy's made up all the darts and is ready to get going.
Dart's in ready.
-Brian is going to do the first one, just to show him how it's done.
Make sure you leave one that sits nice and still for me.
The thing is, it's such a different animal to what I've been used to.
The giraffe was easy. If you dart them, they run away.
These guys, you dart them and they come after you,
so it's just a totally different mindset of the animal.
Bob gets the darts back by gently closing the sliding door
as the lions pass through.
Lioness Asia is the next to be darted and
she doesn't look like she's going to make Andy's first time too easy.
First one. That's it.
I'm stopping now. My career in darting is finishing at the top.
But Andy's not going to get away with it that easily, as there are
still three more lions to go.
His first attempt went very well, but now he has to prove to his
fellow keepers and his boss Keith that his success wasn't just down
to beginner's luck.
And his aim was bang on target.
But unfortunately, this time, the dart hasn't gone off.
But that's not really his fault.
Nothing to do with Andy. Just one of these things that happen.
I've always liked you.
You did pay me a lot of money, earlier on!
No. We just make another dart. That's no problem.
She's got to be darted again.
It might not have been Andy's fault
but the dart not going off has knocked his confidence slightly.
He's going to have to try and put it behind him, though, as he'll need to
really focus for the next lion.
She's seen what's going on so she won't make it easy.
Come here. Stop that.
Hey, come here.
Would you go from this angle, Keith?
No. It's too much of an angle, Andy. You could
take the base of the neck, but I wouldn't do it.
We wouldn't get the dart back.
Are we ready now?
Get her from there. There's no problem.
She's too quick for Andy, and this time he's missed completely.
Hang on. They promised they wouldn't laugh!
When you go back, she obviously knows what's going on and she might
face you a little bit more now.
It's been a stressful morning for Andy, but now, with the whole
pride successfully darted, he can finally relax.
I'm quite pleased with it, to be honest with you.
It could have been a lot, lot worse. When you smell of zebra and giraffe,
it's not good to come into a lion house and upset them.
And he's done so well, he's even impressed seasoned
blowpipe expert, Brian.
Few of them were flying at him through the cage,
but he dealt with it.
Didn't panic or anything.
Took his time and did fine.
He had one miss, but I mean, you can't help that.
It happens to me, so I mean, no problem.
Quite welcome to come back any time and do some more.
I don't mind. Saves me doing them.
Today, we're following the extraordinary story
of Ozzie and her new pup, Peewee.
She gave birth on one of the tour boats and, having been coaxed off
once, reboarded at the stern, causing a group of French schoolkids
to rapidly disembark from the fore deck.
Keeper Ian Small may well have scratched his head.
A short-term solution that was going to allow the boat to continue their
tours was required and quickly.
I tell you what, this might be grabbing at straws...
get one of those large fish...
if she sees a large one, we might
be able to draw her out. Can we just try that?
Mark, a fish for you.
You'll have to be quick about this.
A plan was hatched to distract Ozzie long enough to allow the pup to be
taken onto the other boat, allowing the French students to continue
Mum was just trying to protect her baby, and the keepers were
doing what was best for the pup.
Oz, come on.
Ozzie! She's coming.
She's on there, Oz.
The plan worked.
And at least one of the tour boats could continue operating.
But Mark was going to have to think up a much more
permanent solution to this problem.
We'll have to try again and just hope that she doesn't do it again,
otherwise we're going end up doing this
every single day of the week, until she gets the hang of leaving it out.
And it's going to have to come out, cos, obviously,
we're going to need the boat at some point.
So, we'll just keep trying.
Across the park, there are many animals which are nimble on foot.
But up in the giraffery, there are a couple of creatures
looking to give them a run for their money.
Keepers Ryan and Mark are training to run the London Marathon.
And with just a few weeks to go until the big day,
they're pounding out the miles.
We sort of discussed the London Marathon and decided that,
you know, we'd both like to do that, even it it was
something we did once in our lives.
I've always had an interest in running.
Previous sort of experience, I've run the 10K for the cancer
research just round Longleat.
And then, from there, it's a small leap to doing the Marathon.
We've been training together as much as we possibly can.
Mainly in the mornings.
Thankfully now, it's getting a bit lighter so we can actually
see where we're running, which is always a bonus.
I think Mark's, to be honest, more committed to the cause than I am.
I think I'm probably taking it slightly more seriously than Ryan.
I've definitely put in a few more hours.
Most of the training ideas have always been Mark's ideas and
it's generally Mark that has to push me to get up in the morning,
you know, and go running and stuff.
Obviously around here, there's quite
a few hills, which we've been taking full advantage of, both up and down.
I like to try and exude a certain amount of self confidence about the
whole thing and hope that that maybe makes up for the lack of commitment.
But we'll find out, won't we, in a couple of weeks' time.
If I've been slacking too much, that's really going to show.
Fortunately though, Ryan does have some experience to draw on.
This is not his first foray into the world of distance running.
In 2005, he and I were in training for a half marathon.
Three years ago now,
Keith, our boss, approached me at work
and said, "Would I be interested in doing a half marathon?"
which I curtly said no.
He said, "Hang on, you don't know where it is yet."
So I said, "OK, surprise me, where is it going to be?"
I thought he was going to say like Leeds or the Bath half marathon.
He said, "Well, it's going to be in Kenya."
The race is an annual
event held in a Wildlife Conservancy in Northern Kenya.
And it presented us with a whole different set of challenges than
running around the streets of London...
The very real danger of encountering wild animals.
But, fortunately, we managed to avoid any animals
and after battling through the heat, eventually reached the finish line.
Really proud of myself, really.
Yeah. Yeah. Running up the stairs was an issue for me a year ago so
to be here stood here now, really...
-You've done very well, matey.
-You really have.
I can't explain how beautiful it was out there.
It really is one of the most beautiful places
and what a way to go on safari!
We took part in the race to raise money for the Tusk Trust,
a charity that's dedicated to saving endangered species
and helping local communities.
So now, Ryan's taken it one step further... to a full marathon.
And with running partner Mark, he'ss hoping to raise money
for the animals they care for.
But with just a couple of weeks to go,
how are they shaping up for the big day?
Well, the training was going OK really, until relatively recently.
Mark and I have had a series of hiccups.
I've had a bit of a groin tear, which was quite unpleasant.
I developed a bit of a knee problem on some of the longest runs.
I've had a viral infection.
Went for physio treatment today.
I'm certainly not making excuses, but it seems like all the odds
have started stacking up against us.
We're just hoping to make it round, really, so literally anything -
five hours or just crawling round. We'll be happy with that.
As race day approaches, how will Mark and Ryan
cope with their injuries?
Find out later.
Longleat estate is vast.
Nearly 10,000 acres in total and decorating the stunning landscapes
are millions of trees. Young ones, old ones, fat ones and thin ones.
And there's one man who knows more about these trees
and their vital statistics than anyone else.
And that's Bob Savage. He has the job of surveying thousands
of trees around the estate and he still has a few hundred to do.
When you say you're surveying them, what does that actually involve?
I've got bits of kit that I'm carrying here, like a devoted puppy.
What does surveying a tree involve?
I have this little GPS mapper, here.
-First thing I have to get is location.
-As you can see, there's a little star there...
-..which will be exactly where this tree is.
You're building up a map of every single tree on the estate.
-Then I've got to age it now.
I thought the only way that you could age a tree was cut it down
and count the rings which would take a very long time, indeed.
That's basically what we're going to do, Kate.
What? No, we can't.
No! There is another way.
I was thinking it's going to be very hard work
-but you can't cut that tree down!
-With oaks, there's been quite a lot
of work done, that you measure their girth and it will give you a...
not to the year accurate, but a rough ballpark of how old the tree is.
So do you want to hold that end and shall I run round the tree?
Is that the way to do it?
-What do you think it'll be?
I don't know. I'm going to make a wild guess of four metres.
-So four metres, you think.
Here, you've got eight metres...
20 cm, see.
-Eight metres 20.
-About 27 feet.
About 27 feet wide.
So this is the age here between 704 and 810 years old.
Yep. So maybe 750 years old.
That's extraordinary, Bob.
Which is well before Longleat House was there...
That's absolutely amazing.
Actually, before the Abbey was there, as well.
Before that, I'd imagine.
So what we're looking at here is a piece of living history.
This tree would have seen remarkable things.
Everything's that happened round here for the past 750 years.
So this would have been just a sapling when William Wallace
was battling the English as depicted in the movie, Braveheart.
We've got to measure the height of it now, as well.
Is this the kit that you do that?
-You need to be 30 metres away from the tree.
-And be quite accurate.
My tape measure is exactly 30 metres.
OK. How incredible.
You must feel every day, that you're working in
-one of the most beautiful places in the country?
-It's just idyllic, really.
-Right, then. That's our 30 metres.
I'll just set this up cos it's a little bit...
Doesn't make any sense if you've never used it before.
-It's about 19 and a half metres.
-19 and a half metres.
I heard that trees, like people, shrink as they get older.
-Is that true?
-Yeah. Completely. Especially oak trees.
An oak tree will really start dying at about 250 years old.
But after that, it can still live for another 500, 600.
-Some of them are over 1,100 years old, easily.
Well, Bob, this has just been the loveliest way to spend the morning.
Thank you very much indeed and if you ever need an assistant,
just give me a shout and I'll be out with you
-looking at these fantastic trees. What a treat. Thank you.
With 50,000 new trees sprouting up every year,
who knows what they'll see in their lifetime.
Today, we're looking back at the dramatic story of Ozzie the sealion,
who gave birth on one of Longleat's tour boats.
Down by Half Mile Lake, a plan was being put into action
that hoped to keep Ozzie and her young pup Peewee off the boats.
And this time, for good.
There's always some junk lying round here we can use.
The plan was simple.
Get Peewee in a cage so she can suckle from Ozzie,
safely out of the way of her dad, Sam.
We're going to have to lock the cub into the pen during the day
and let her into it, so at least none of the others can
get to it and then, hopefully, she'll get calmer about the whole idea.
It's just a case of trying that plan now and seeing how that works.
Step one was to get Peewee off the boat and into the pen.
Then step two was to lure Ozzie into the pen, as well.
But as Sam came over,
all hell broke loose and Ozzie began to panic.
But after the initial tension, Sam finally backed off.
Hopefully now, she'll calm down a bit and once everybody's left
and perhaps had a suckle and hopefully she'll relax a bit more.
So at least then, the others can come round that and have a look.
It will just be a case of letting her in and out,
as she wants to, so the pup can suckle
and what have you, but I think once
she's calmed down later on, we shouldn't have too many problems.
Ten years on and Ozzie's still enjoying life
in the lake at Longleat.
Now a ripe old 29 years old, Ozzie's still here in the park
and Mark and I are helping feed Ozzie and who's this over there?
-This is Zuke.
-Zuke. Now, is she still breeding?
-Is she still producing?
She gave up producing ten years ago.
JoJo was her last baby in '98.
-And have they given up completely, giving birth on the boats?
It was always just Ozzie who was the one that fancied the boat idea
and luckily, these new boats are too high for them to jump up onto.
And obviously since then, we've had the beach built and they seem
quite happy to be down here, but Ozzie just could not deviate
from the boat plan, at all. Her parents were
original Californian sealions, so she's done really, really well.
She's seen it all, got the T-shirt.
She really has. She's really been a great sealion for us.
She's really been a great example for living in this environment.
You know, we sometimes get a little bit of stick
for keeping them in a big lake, but I think it's brilliant and the fact
that her and her mother lived so long
and she's still going strong and showing no signs of quitting yet.
And there's a whole new generation of breeding sealions here, like Zuke.
Yeah. Zuke's our youngster.
She came from Dublin at the beginning of last year and she's now pregnant.
-And is this the first time for her?
-Yes, it is.
It will be her first baby,
which is a little worry because you're never quite sure
how they'll take to a newborn, especially when they're quite young.
They tend to be a little bit freaked out by it, but you know, we've got
a lot of others that have good experience and hopefully,
Celia will give birth around the same time, so she'll get the gist
of what she's meant to do, hopefully, by watching the others.
The generations go on and on and on.
-Well, Mark, best of luck with that.
Mark and Ryan, the keepers in the East Africa reserve,
have temporarily downed tools in order to train for the London Marathon.
They're doing it to raise money for the Tusk Trust
and the animals that hold a special place in their hearts.
It's just three days before the big race,
but the injury Mark sustained to his knee is still giving him problems.
We went out for a run one morning and two miles and the knee had gone.
So if it's your last two miles, you would do it maybe,
you'd push it, but to have an injury
like that go in the first two when you've got 26 to look forward to...
But it's not too painful at the moment. I can run through it.
I'll run through the pain.
We're just going to try and finish inside of five hours.
More or less a brisk walking pace, I think.
Trying to finish on two legs under five hours, I think's our goal.
We'll be happy with that.
Mark may be battling with injury,
but to help get round the 26 miles, he's come up with a secret weapon.
We're going to have a Jelly Baby for every mile,
so each mile that we tick off along the way,
we'll eat a Jelly Baby, just to give us a little sugar boost.
You know, you see those Jelly Babies going down... it's a visual aid...
Break it down into 26 blocks.
-We'll make it round.
It's the morning of the marathon
and Mark and Ryan arrive at the start in Greenwich Park.
Mark has had his leg heavily bandaged, but how's he feeling?
It's not too bad. I have it strapped up now,
so hopefully it won't give me too much jip.
Going to give it my all with a smile on my face, probably... hopefully!
Mark is putting a brave face on it,
but Ryan is taking a more cautious approach.
We're not 100% sure that we can do this,
that we can pull this off, today.
We're actually at the back and we're like block nine.
Block one is the front and we're in the final block,
which is the slow people.
So we basically in with the fancy dress guys.
So I think that sort of gives an indication
of the pace we're looking at.
They may be starting at the back,
but they do have their secret sugar supply.
It's the Jelly Babies. These are going to count down the miles
as we go along, so one per mile.
Boost the sugars. Hopefully give us a boost along the way.
But it's not just a bag of sweets
that they're carrying round the 26-mile course.
They're also taking a video camera to record their journey.
Let the pain begin.
Well, we've just started running.
Really good atmosphere. Game on.
TRUMPET PLAYS ROCKY THEME TUNE
We're at the magic mile mark.
One Jelly Baby down.
25 to go.
Well done, Bono!
Go on, Ryan. Go on, Ryan!
Er...right, we're, er...
we've just gone past seven miles.
Start to get the feeling this is where it starts to get a bit serious.
So, just coming up to Tower Bridge.
Just past the 12-mile mark.
Quite a bit of pain,
but I'm going to carry on.
Mark's really starting to feel his leg,
so that's why he said, "I can't even stop to walk",
cos if he stops to walk, he feels like he won't get going again.
The last six miles, this is, for Mark and I, like a little training run.
That's what we keep telling ourselves.
Bit of pain but yeah, we're going to make it to the end.
See you there.
And after a gruelling four hours and 52 minutes,
eight minutes ahead of schedule,
a jubilant Mark and Ryan cross the finishing line.
Managed to get round in pretty much one piece... I reckon.
-The knee finally held up, just about, for Mark.
Just had to keep going.
Just had to keep plugging away.
Can't believe it. All that training and it's done.
-Thank heavens it's all over.
I have a box of special things and this is probably going to go
right to the top of my box of special things.
And I'm proud of that.
Earlier in the show, we saw head of the East Africa section,
Andy Heyton, learn how to use a blowpipe - an essential skill
for medicating many of the less approachable animals in the park.
And how hard can it be? So WE'RE going to give it a go.
We're going to join some of the heads of section from the park
to find out who's the most accurate with the blowpipe.
Two teams with one aim. To get the most darts on target.
And our target...
the hugely ferocious polystyrene lion.
So the teams.
With me from the lion section, king of the bullseyes, Brian.
And new kid on the blowdart block, Andy.
And on the losers side - oops, did I really say that? - Ben,
crack shot head warden Keith and the sharpest aim in the park, Tim Yo.
To make sure there's no cheating, deputy head warden Ian Turner
is keeping a watchful eye over proceedings.
-Who's going to go first?
-Who's going to go first?
Well, I would say ladies first.
If it's Kate going, maybe we should move that forward a bit.
Do we need to do that?
Hang on, Fogle, before you get all cocky...
maybe you should go first. No. All right. So I need to go...
So...stand behind the line. Gosh, it is suddenly very windy.
That's just an excuse, Kate.
It got the target. What do you think?
'Not bad for a first go.
'Maybe you should be known as Queen of Darts from now on.
'Tim shows us how it should be done.'
I think Tim's going to be rather good at this.
Oh! Look at that.
Andy, we're counting on you.
'Beginner's luck has obviously run out.
'And is Ben showing signs of nerves?'
-Are you waiting till last?
-No, no, no, no, no.
Tactics, Kate. Tactics, Kate.
I think you're just being a bit of a wimp, to be honest.
"Crack shot" Keith lives up to his name.
my team is in the lead, but all could change as Brian's up next.
And then... me.
Has everyone hit the target?
Everyone's hit the target, including you? Are you sure?
Yes. I hit it as closely as my other team members, I have to tell you.
-So you, arrow and aim for a bit higher.
-Oh, not bad.
I think that puts us as the winners.
So, Ian the judge is coming back.
Ben, Keith, Tim, all on the same team, all the three nearest.
-So that means my team won.
-It does, rather.
Sorry I won again, Kate.
Well, you know, all I can say
is that perhaps you're more often surrounded by sick animals than me.
They've got to stay healthy when I'm nearby. So that's fine.
-Kate, maybe a lot of wind as well.
-Do you think that's...? Yeah, yeah.
Well, thank you all for showing us. It was fascinating.
-We've got a lot to learn, though.
But sadly, we've run out of time, but there's lots more coming up
on the next Animal Park.
The lions pounce and we get the best seat in the house.
We get caught up in a tangled web of love in this spider house,
as keeper Kim Tucker plays matchmaker.
Oh, he's doing it, he's doing it!
And the otters have to brush up on their feeding skills.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]